Whip Count (No. 18 in a Series) Kucinich Switches From No to Yes

By Matt Loffman

Mar 17, 2010 11:58am

From Sunlen Miller:

Dennis Kucinich, the liberal Ohio Democrat who has repeatedly vowed to oppose President Obama's health care bill because it lacks a public option, today reversed course and said he would support the bill after all, ABC’s Rick Klein and Z. Byron Wolf report.

“I’ve decided to cast a vote in favor of the legislation,” Kucinich said today at a press conference on Capitol Hill. Kucinich said he wasn’t backing away from his criticisms, but instead wanted to “incorporate them into this statement” in his fight to continue to push for a more drastic overhaul of the nation’s health care system.

Kucinich is the first Democrat who voted “no” on the original House bill to formally announce that he’s switching his vote this time around.

As we’ve previously covered, 220 members of Congress voted for the bill when Pelosi brought the House legislation to a vote.

Since then, four yes votes are no more: Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao, R-La., has said he won’t vote for final passage, Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, retired to run for governor, Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Fla., also retired, and Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., died.

That means to pass the Senate bill, Pelosi starts out with 216 members of Congress who voted yes last time.

With the retirement of Rep. Eric Massa D-N.Y., there are now only 431 members of Congress total, meaning a majority is 216 vote.

-Sunlen Miller

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